What is still Lacking in Christ’s Affliction?


Q. In Col 1:24, “lacking in regards to Christ’s afflictions” references Christ’s limitations on this earth.
Christ had to die for our sins which left his message with the apostles or the saints (body of believers).
A. What you have given is an interpretation of Col 1:24. Let’s take a look at it again.

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

I am mystified how you came to the interpretation that “what was ‘lacking in Christ’s afflictions’ refers Christ’s limitations on this earth. What limitations might those be, since He was fully God and fully man? The phrase “Christ’s afflictions” is more appropriately interpreted to mean his suffering and death. I have never heard that it referred to His limitations. Do you have a scripture to support this?

And St. Paul is clearly saying that his (Paul’s) sufferings in his (Paul’s) flesh is somehow filling up or filling to the full what was “still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions for the sake of …the Church.” This verse does not in any way shape or form fit Protestant theology. But it does fit Catholic theology.

Q. Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary wasn’t “lacking”, but his time on earth to complete God’s mission was.

A. But how can “what was lacking in Christ’s afflictions” possibly refer to a lacking of time? Can you support this with scripture?

Q. If you believe, God meant Christ’s death wasn’t enough then you believe, God to be a liar and a hypocrite. For God’s word clearly states that Christ’s sacrifice was enough “once and for all”.

A. I am not saying something was “lacking in Christ’s afflictions”. St. Paul says it. In Scripture. In Infallible Scripture.

Of course, this in no way means that somehow Jesus failed to complete what He came to do. Absolutely NOT. What I am saying is that by the sovreign plan of God, there WAS SOMETHING FOR MAN TO DO TO COMPLETE our perfection to complete the salvation gained for us by Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that each of us must be perfectly purified before we can come into the presence of God. This purification occurs in our life through our sufferings offered in reparation to Christ in this life and the next for our purification.

We both must interpret this scripture in order to make sense out of it and still glorify Christ. The Catholic interpretation just makes more sense to me.

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One Response to What is still Lacking in Christ’s Affliction?

  1. God’s plan was to let his people participate in His ministry to the world. Jesus told the disciples that they would do even greater works than He did. What a privilege to share in the work of Christ!

    This verse is a key to the Catholic concept of redemptive suffering. We can offer our afflictions for the sake of others–for their salvation, their safety, their healing. We can offer our suffering for the souls in purgatory and bring their purification to a quicker conclusion.

    I have chronic asthma (like St. Bernadette) and I decided to offer every asthma attack for the soul of my maternal grandmother. She was a marginal Catholic who suffered from mental illness (probably bi-polar) and was an alchoholic. Grandma June killed herself when my mom was a child. I never met her, but I believe that it’s very important for me to pray for her soul.

    It’s not that the sacrifice of Jesus wasn’t “good enough”. It’s that He allows us to participate in the atonement. By joining our suffering to His we participate in His death. This also helps us rejoice in our afflictions because we can see them as an opportunity to minister to others.

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